How to Move from Gray into Color

A friend of a friend approached me with questions about open adoption the other day. “Do you ever wish you had just walked away? Closed the door on everything after leaving the hospital?” My answer needed only a split second of reflection. “No.” In my days without Dominic, — about 500 since he was born […]

How Being a Birthmother Makes Me a Fraud

So much of life as a birthmother is a Catch-22. I was reminded of this at my last visit, when I took Dominic to the largest playground near his house. He clambered around on the playground equipment, looking so proud as he descended the slide by himself. Children of all ages swarmed the equipment, while […]

How I’m Raising an Invisible Child

In my childhood, three imaginary friends kept me company. Small in stature, Golly, Hammer and Guys ate dinner, played tea parties and ran outside with me. I always became upset when one of my parents accidentally sat on them and squished them. Golly, Hammer and Guys were imaginary. Even though I outgrew them, sometimes I […]

What to Remember in the Shame of Everyday Life

Mothers often feel a lot of shame. Whether it’s the voices of friends, family, society, or themselves, mothers constantly hear about how they should parent, how they should look, how their kids should behave and perform, what they should feed their family, etc. I have a lot of compassion for mothers. I know what it’s […]

Why You Should Trust Your Mind to Help You Heal

Podcasts are great road trip companions, especially when driving back from visiting my baby. They keep my mind off the growing physical distance between me and him. On our way back from our most recent visit, Neil and I listened to NPR’s podcast “Hidden Brain,” hosted by social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam. In episode 42, […]

What To Do When Everything Feels Tainted

Grief is a strange monster. He throws a fit when ignored for too long, then grabs me by the throat when I look him in the eye. He morphs and wears disguises, vying for my attention, craving my consumption. Sometimes I can keep him confined to the closet, but eventually, I must deal with him. […]

How Regret Can Be Divisive

One of the recurring themes of being a birthmother is regret. The topic has surfaced in many of my conversations with birthmothers. Some of them regret their decision to place, while others regret the way in which the placement was handled or certain details about the adoption. Still other birthmothers, like three of the women […]

11 Best Quotes for Healing Birthmothers

The decision to place a child for adoption is made in 9 months or less, but the consequences last a lifetime. I am still at the tip of the iceberg in my adoption journey, with Dominic being only 14 months old. But in this short time, I’ve met so many inspiring women, families, and adoption […]

Why I Kept His Pictures Out of Sight

Trying to control grief is like trying to choke a fish: it’s slippery so tightening my grip only lets it get away, and the fish doesn’t breathe air anyway, so why am I choking it? The harder I try to control my grief, the more firmly it lets me know who’s master. “You will feel […]